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September 16, 2013 | by  | in Opinion |
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Things That Go Bump in the Night

When I was pretty young, I was aware that I liked looking at naked people. I used to read a lot of kids’ science books, and while some of them talked about human reproduction, they always skirted around the actual sex part.

What follows is one of my proudest achievements: I asked my mum not, “Where do babies come from?” but, “How does the DNA get from the man to the woman?” My mother, flustered, gave me a useless child’s sex-ed book she had hidden at the back of the bookshelf, saved for an occasion which had no doubt played out differently in her head. I read it in secret over and over and over.

We were on dial-up, and I unimaginatively went directly to www.sex.com, where my journey truly began. I spent hours and hours at a time scrolling through endless, slowly loading (straight) porn, totally mesmerised. I credit the huge swathe of porn with helping me realise I was more into dudes. I would find myself seeking out porn where the man was more visible, and slowly, terrifyingly, segued into gay porn. I started wanking before I was developed enough to come.

I had a girlfriend early on in high school. We never had full-on intercourse, but we exchanged oral sex a couple of times, to little satisfaction on either part, but we managed fine with fingering and hand jobs. We made out a lot, and I was pretty sexually satisfied for a 15-year-old.

A couple of weeks after I turned 16, I was on a camping trip with friends, four in a tent. In the night, I made out with a guy whose sleeping bag was next to mine, and we awkwardly blew each other, but not to orgasm for fear of waking our tent-mates. We got up early and showered together, blowing each other under the water and jacking each other off. After the trip, we fucked in my bed while my parents were out for the day. The blow jobs he gave me were, in hindsight, poor (it was his first time with a dude too), but I came in his mouth anyway, and blew him, before he fucked me. Neither of us knew what we were doing, and he just shoved it in (with lube and a condom, at least)—he wasn’t huge, but it was very painful. I didn’t really enjoy the experience physically, but I enjoyed the fact that I was finally having sex, which mattered to me more. We only did it the one time before he assured me he was mostly straight and that this wouldn’t be happening again.

My first boyfriend and I only had anal sex once, and it didn’t really work for us, but we had plenty of oral sex, and I think that is when I started to get halfway-decent at blow jobs. I was first-year, he was third-year.

My second boyfriend and I also had more oral than anal sex. We did things I hadn’t done before, like rim each other, and I got more comfortable with anal sex, especially topping. I’d seen so much anal sex between men in porn, but that hadn’t prepared me at all for what to do in real life. He was a little more experienced than I was, and I learned a lot from sex with him.

I didn’t really come into my own until my third boyfriend. The second time we had sex, he brought out a duffel bag full of sex toys, asking me whether I’d ever used toys before. I had, with a cheap vibrator I owned, but never with someone else. It was only when dating this boy that I started to get actually good at sex. While at the start I think he was teaching me a lot, it didn’t take long for us to be exploring together as equals, each with our own strengths and weaknesses. We had a very honest relationship, with very good sexual communication. We bought sex toys together to save on shipping, tied each other up, fucked each other, had threesomes, and talked about sex easily and openly. I can honestly say I would not be writing Things That Go Bump in the Night if I hadn’t had these experiences.

For the first time, I felt like I knew what I was doing. I finally believed people when they told me I gave good blow jobs (which they told me more often—practice makes perfect). Now when I went out into the world of queer boys and sexed them I felt, five years after my first time, like I knew what I was doing. I’ve played the role of teacher several times since, with more than one person saying afterwards that they hadn’t realised sex was fun.

I still watch a lot of porn, but it hasn’t really taught me anything about sex. School sex ed sure as all hell didn’t teach me anything useful about sex with a man either. The overwhelming majority of what I actually learned about sex comes from people—from talking to them, from learning and teaching and experimenting with them, from trial and error. One-night stands, though they can be fun, have never helped me develop sexually in the same way a communicative, regular sexual relationship (not necessarily a romantic one) has.

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